Author Topic: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)  (Read 9331 times)

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The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« on: December 24, 2011, 05:31:20 AM »
The Whaling War - a possible future history

Beginnings

The Japanese practice of “scientific whaling” had long been a controversial issue.  In 2008 the debate really started to heat up as claim and counter claim flew between those opposed and for the practice.  Following the end of the 2007/2008 season in March, the rhetoric on both sides refused to die down.  In April, Japan declared that it had had enough of the joke it called the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and was withdrawing.  It immediately joined the North Atlantic Marine Mammal Commission (NAMMCO), a group led by Norway, Iceland, Greenland and openly in support of commercial whaling – the world waited to see what the following season would bring…

…at the same time, a group led by militant offshoots of the Sea Shepherd (already deemed by most as being militant) and Greenpeace protest groups joined forces with a number of wealthy American, European and Australian supporters.  They too had had enough of the IWC.  They decided that Japan’s whaling had to be stopped, and if the world wouldn’t do something about it then they would.  To this end, they discretely purchased 3 ex-USN S-3B Vikings.  These were stripped of most systems and would only carry a crew of 2.  The trade-off, being an increased range.  In addition, the group, known as the Cetacean Defence Force (CDF), also managed to acquire a small number of AGM-84 Harpoon ASMs (it was understood that these were supplied with the unofficial blessing of the US Government who wanted to see the Japanese whaling stopped).  With the assistance of a number of ex-military pilots and groundcrew, the Vikings were soon ready and were quietly shipped to a remote landing strip on the South Island of New Zealand…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2011, 05:32:22 AM »
First Strike

… November 2008, a Japanese whaling fleet, larger than ever before headed to the Southern ocean to begin it’s first openly commercial whaling season in many years.  As they passed to the east of New Zealand, the CDF struck.  A single Viking launched a Harpoon towards the fleet.  Having no real defences, the result was as can be imagined.  Within minutes the main Japanese mother ship was in flames and sinking fast.

The event reverberated around the world.  Japan openly called it an act of terrorism and demanded the perpetrators be arrested and handed over immediately.  However with public support in most western countries (and especially Australia and New Zealand) against the Japanese, the New Zealand Government conveniently stated that they could not find the people in question nor their supposed base (as it was, they weren’t lying as the CDF had already moved to a new base operating from the west coast of Tasmania).  A UN Security council meeting also failed after US and European members blocked any attempt to take action.  The Japanese decided that they would need to deal with this themselves and thus decided to once again send the Whaling fleet south (it had turned back following the attack).  This time it would be escorted by two JMSDF destroyers – the Atago and Kirishima.  At the same time Japan decided to also have an air presence in the South.  However, with its first Hyūga-class quasi-carrier (technically a helicopter destroyer) still not ready for action, it approached the Government of Thailand and purchased the HTMS Chakri Naruebet along with its fleet of AV-8Ss outright.  Following a 2 week crash program (it was later revealed that Japan had long planned this as a contingency plan and had already covertly trained personnel in the use of the AV-8s), this was soon ready to also go south…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2011, 05:33:00 AM »
Retaliation

...the next blood would be drawn by the Japanese.  Believing that all protestors were in the same boat, they decided to provide a lesson in force.  Unfortunately for the Sea Shepard ship, the Steve Irwin, they would be on the receiving end of that lesson (the Japanese had already had enough of this ship the previous season).  On the evening of the 15th December 2008, after giving 5 minutes warning to abandon the ship, the Kirishima opened fire on the ship.  Within minutes it had sunk with the loss of over half the crew.  This action was loudly condemned in the western media with calls for international action to cease this violence in the Southern ocean.  However before anything could happen, the CDF struck again.

This time 2 Vikings approached the Japanese fleet at low level in the midst of a storm (the crews knew their jobs and were dedicated).  Each aircraft fired 2 Harpoons.  3 of these struck home leaving another 2 whaling ships sinking.  At the time, the Atago was not with the fleet having left to escort the newly renamed Akagi (ex Chakri Naruebet) carrier.  The Kirishima tried to defend the fleet but was unable to detect the missiles in time (having never even gained sight of the launch aircraft amidst the storm).

Believing Western Governments (especially Australia and New Zealand) were actively complicit in this action, Japan decided to strike back…

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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2011, 05:33:45 AM »
Escalation

…having identified what they believed to be the main CDF operating base in Tasmania, the Japanese launched an attack from the Akagi with 6 AV-8s.  Each was equipped with a single laser guided bomb (the Japanese having modified the aircraft on-route to carry a small laser designator pod).  On the evening of the 23rd December, the aircraft streaked in from the South West and dropped their bombs on the airfield.  They were only able to catch one Viking on the ground though, the others being already in the air looking for the Japanese fleet again.  Never-the-less, the mission was deemed a success in Japan, with the airfield facilities left ablaze.

In Australia though, the media (and much of the public it must be admitted), were furious.  Given the name of the Japanese carrier, the media very quickly called this Australia’s Pearl Harbour and demanded that this be declared an act of war…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2011, 05:34:25 AM »
A Pause

…over the Christmas/New Year period, the diplomatic corps on both sides worked non-stop.  The UN was called in and resolutions calling for an end to this craziness were tabled.  However, both sides refused to back down.  Japan now had the open backing of Norway, Iceland and Greenland as well as from a host of smaller countries (many bought off by Japan it was argued).

In preparation of further action, the operational commissioning of the Hyūga was being brought forward.  This would soon be ready to also leave Japan.  Although, there were at this stage no further Harriers available (India was being approached with large cash offers for Sea Harriers), a combination of SH-60Js and AH-64 Apaches were ready for embarkation.  The Apaches had already been quickly modified to carry Mitsubishi AAM-3s in addition to their AGM-114 Hellfires.

More ominously, the JSDF also started implementation of plans to base conventional land based combat aircraft closer to the area.  This consisted of a squadron each of F-15Js and F-2s based in Fiji and West Indonesia respectively.  Each detachment was supported by a pair of KC-767s and an E-2C.  Additionally, a pair of ShinMaywa US-2 flying boats also moved south…

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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2011, 05:35:32 AM »
Developments

..things hadn’t stayed still on the CDF side either.  Following the loss of their Viking in Tasmania along with a large quantity of their supplies and stock of Harpoons, they had been temporarily forced to halt operations.  However, this was only a temporary halt as very quickly donations of money and offers of help came flooding in.  Moreover, since the attack on Australian sovereign territory had brought with it a strong call for retaliation (of some sort) from the public, the Australian Government felt forced to at least offer sanctuary to the CDF forces.

These forces were very quickly bolstered by a ‘donation’ of 4 more Vikings from US stocks along with the requisite logistical support (pilots being no problem with many qualified crew offering their support for what they felt was a just war).  However, these aircraft would never reach their intended operating bases.  On 27th January 2009, whilst on transit to New Zealand, the 4 aircraft were intercepted by 2 JASDF F-15Js over the Pacific.  Despite the valiant attempts of their crews to escape, all 4 were quickly shot down (only one crew member survived to tell what happened).

Meanwhile, New Zealand had been watching apprehensively as events spiralled seemingly out of control.  Following the retirement of the A-4 Skyhawks years earlier, the RNZAF new it wouldn’t be able to defend against a real aggressor in the area, let along an angry one armed with F-15s.  to quickly prepare for the worst, a call was put out for modern combat aircraft.  This call was answered from the other side of the world.  Within the space of a couple of weeks the first of 8 Saab JAS-39As and 2 JAS-39Bs were on their way to New Zealand aboard leased Antonov An-124s.  These aircraft had earlier been retired by the Swedish Flygvapnet, but had been maintained in flyable storage.  They would soon be in action…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2011, 05:36:09 AM »
Strike Back

…ever since the attack on Tasmania and the public outcries that followed, the world knew Australia would retaliate. However, no-one could have guessed just how strongly this would be.  At exactly midnight on the 13th February 2009, in attacks timed to strike simultaneously, 18 RAAF F-111Cs (in what would be their first true combat action) and 6 AP-3C Orions, divided evenly into 3 strike groups struck not only the Japanese Naval/Whaling fleet in the Southern ocean, but also the Japanese detachments in both Fiji and Indonesia.  All 3 strike groups were able to attack stealthily thanks to a combination of the Jindalee Operational Radar Network and secure data links provided by high flying UAVs.

The aircraft attacking the fleet were armed exclusively with 4 Harpoons each giving a total of 32 Harpoons launched at the ships.  Even though the two destroyers were able to destroy many of the incoming missiles, a significant number still made it through.  The Kirishima and Akagi were both hit, though because of their trained crews and construction, they were able to survive, initially.  Not so lucky were 4 whaling ships.

Almost immediately after the first air launched Harpoons struck, the Japanese fleet was struck again.  This time the attack came from beneath the waves as Mk48 ADCAP torpedoes from the Collins submarines HMAS Waller and HMAS Dechaineux struck home.  The Kirishima was immediately broken in half with the loss of all crew.  The Akagi lasted slightly longer and was able to get most crew off before it too sunk.  The Atago escaped damage but decided that it was wiser to move out of the area escorting the last remaining whaling ship.

To the northeast and northwest, the RAAF aircraft attacked using a combination of AGM-142 Raptors (2 per F-111) and AGM-84K SLAM-ER (these having been secretly passed to the RAAF by the USN a few weeks earlier and being fitted to the AP-3Cs).  These missiles struck not only the runways and hanger areas but also fuel farms and radar towers on each base.  Also destroyed were most aircraft.  The following morning the images of the destruction were beamed around the world and the both the public and their governments waited to see what Japan would do next…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2011, 05:36:58 AM »
Preparations for the Next Round

…for the time being though nothing happened.  Having been badly bloodied during the attacks and having lost two major warships plus the best part of two combat squadrons as well as a number of other military aircraft (not to mention the whaling ships), Japan at first decided to pull their forces back.  For now the world breathed a collective sigh of relief as tensions appeared to ease.  However, the anger on both sides had not subsided and in the months that followed, both sides planned and prepared for the next round.

On the Japanese side, this centred upon the need to increase its embarked fixed wing capability.  With the key western nations still viewed as hostile, it was recognised that this support would need to either be sourced from non-traditional suppliers or better yet developed at home.  Both strategies were pursued.  To begin with, the agreement to purchase half of India’s Sea Harriers (6 aircraft in total) was finalised.  These were quickly transferred to Japan and were upgraded to incorporate new Japanese electronics/sensors – including most importantly, a new radar able to provide guidance for the Mitsubishi AAM-4 medium-range radar-guided air-to-air missile.

Concurrent to this, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries reached an agreement to purchase all design related material and production jigs etc for the stillborn Yak-43 VTOL fighter.  The resulting Mitsubishi F-3 fighter incorporated the latest Japanese electronics and sensors right from the start.  With the full weight of Japan’s aerospace industry behind it, the new fighter was able to be developed in record time.  Furthermore, with production of initial airframes being undertaken concurrent with development, the first new fighters were flown within 6 months.  Shortly thereafter, the first squadron of 6 aircraft also began to be trialled from the Hyūga.

To the south other changes were also taking place.  The most significant of these was the creation of the Oceanic Confederation.  This consisted of Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, East Timor, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Fiji and most of the other small island nations in the south pacific.  This idea was brought to the fore by the recent events (especially the ease at which Japan had been able to gain an operating base in Fiji in return for large cash payments), though it had been building for some time.  In return for a number of concessions (most important being the agreement to exclude foreign military forces from the area), the smaller nations had their economies formally linked to the Australian one (which had been booming for quite some time).  This linking even went to the extent of having the Australian dollar made the official currency through out the confederation. The militaries of all the nations were also formally merged into the one Oceanic Defence Force (ODF) – in reality, this meant that virtually all members received a major boost to their defence capabilities for minimal outlay.

Given that the new area covered by the Oceanic Confederation was extremely large an investment was made in new equipment to patrol/defend it.  The first of these acquisitions was a fleet of 18 refurbished S-3B Vikings (these being selected due their good all round capabilities and ready availability – in addition to 16 airframes supplied by the USA, the two remaining CDF aircraft were also acquired).  Before being introduced into service, the Vikings underwent an upgrade to become what was soon known as MS-3C (the ‘M’ standing for ‘Multi-role’) Super Vikings.  This involved upgrading the radar and avionics of standard S-3B so that it could undertake not only maritime surveillance and attack functions but also air-to-air functions including the guidance of AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles.  The aft sonobuoy tubes were also reduced in number in return for more fuel to give a greater endurance.  In operation, the MS-3Cs were deployed in flights of 3 aircraft throughout the region.

In addition to these aircraft, it was also decided to purchase an additional batch of JAS-39A/Bs (consisting of 14 JAS-39As and 4 JAS-39Bs) from Sweden to compliment those acquired months earlier by New Zealand.  These were relatively in-expensive, but thanks to their multi-role design, extremely versatile.  They would now be based in two squadrons and provide a useful compliment to the F/A-18A+s and F-111Cs (soon to be replaced by F/A-18Fs) already operated by Australia.  To support these aircraft, Australia also doubled its KC-330 tanker buy to 10 aircraft.

To help fly/support these additional aircraft, a large number of ex-pat nationals came home to provide their services (the war had provided a strong enticement for many to return).  In the short term though, the ODF also employed the services of the Aegis Defence Services Private Military Company (PMC) to help out.

And so came the 2009/2010 whaling season, and the world waited to see what would happen…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2011, 05:37:29 AM »
A Respite?

… however, to everyone’s relief nothing at all happened.  With it’s whaling fleet largely destroyed and with the new military additions still not complete, no Japanese ship even approached the southern ocean.

Meanwhile for the new Oceanic Confederation Defence Force (OCDF), there was a new addition.  Whilst the war of the previous summer had largely ended in Australia’s favour, it had been recognised that a more capable force would be needed to defend the new, much larger Oceanic Confederation.  Whilst basing forces on the various islands etc that made up the Confederation was one part, there was still a lot of ocean between these that would also need defending (both of fishing resources and the increasing mineral resources thought to lie in the area).  As a result, the CODF now revived a proposal that had been made a few years earlier – that of a series of small, high speed mini-aircraft carriers.  These ships would provide a more responsive compliment to the 2 Canberra class LHDs already being built for Australia.

The two Australian ship builders, INCAT and Austal, polished off their earlier catamaran based designs and worked together to quickly develop a new single Oceanic class High Speed Aircraft Carrier (HSAC).  This design was 130m in length, able to cruise at 45 knots and able to carry either 6 JSF sized fighters or a similar number of helicopters.  They also carried a small VLS missile battery and 2 CIWSs as well as a comprehensive sensor suite.  As soon as the design was completed, the OCDF ordered 3 each from INCAT and Austal.   Thanks to their relatively simply construction, the first (OCS Oceanic) would be ready to launch in October 2010.  As the ordered F-35B fighters planned for it weren’t yet ready, it was to be equipped with a combination of MRH-90 Wombat and ARH Tiger helicopters as well as leased Harrier AV-8B+ aircraft (the exact mix would vary depending upon the mission).  The second ship, OCS Kokoda would be launched 1 month later in November, just in time for the 2010/2011 whaling season…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2011, 05:38:02 AM »
Ominous Developments

…unlike the previous year, this time the Japanese were sending a whaling fleet, and it would be a fleet unlike any other.  Apart from being larger then any previous (18 whaling ships in all) it would be heavily armed.  To begin with, the newly constructed whaling ships were solidly constructed to withstand possible attacks.  They were also each equipped with a CIWS to defend against attacks (such a system would also be useful to deter pesky protesters).  Escorting the fleet was a total of 7 JMSDF vessels.  These included 3 Atago class guided missile destroyers; the Hyūga mini carrier (equipped with a full compliment of 8 new F-3 fighters and 4 SH-60 helicopters), and a pair of Harushio class SSKs.

 By far the most impressive though, was the new Hiryu class Super Carrier.  This was the first of two such vessels (the other being the Soryu) constructed for the JMSDF in record time.  These were developed by modifying existing double-hulled VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier – also referred to as super-tankers) already under construction in Kawasaki Shipbuilding Corporation yards.  These ships were modified to have a large flight deck with a simple island to the rear, starboard side.  Whilst they did not have catapults (they were planned to be re-equipped with such in the future), they did have a large ski-jump to allow for STOBAR operations.  Apart from a well equipped self defence system, the ships each carried an air group of 12 F-15JN (a rapid naval modification of some of Japan’s existing F-15J fighters), 24 F-2C/D (newly constructed naval variants of the F-2A/B), 12 F-3s, a pair of E-2Cs and a number of helicopters.  These ships also still carried a large amount of fuel and thus were able to act as underway replenishment ships for the rest of the fleet.

Also joining the fleet this time would be 2 Norwegian ships – a whaling vessel and the new frigate, Roald Amundsen.

The fleet left Japan in early December and headed south with no intention of being stopped this time…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2011, 05:38:42 AM »
Blockade

…As soon as it became apparent that this fleet was indeed heading south, the diplomatic channels started to work overtime.  Public passions were also raised thanks to the media on both sides.

Recalling the success of the Cuban missile crisis blockade and hoping for a similar result as in 1962, the Oceanic Confederation declared a blockade of the key routes to the Southern Ocean through their territorial waters.  It specifically declared that the Southern Ocean was a Protected Marine Environment and that no fishing/whaling or similar vessels intending to take from this environment would be permitted to enter.  Further reinforcing this was the recent decision by the Confederation members to actively defend their Antarctic territorial claims.

The world waited hoped that there wouldn’t be another conflict.  However, with passions strong on both sides, this wouldn’t be the case.

The first incident took place long before the first Japanese ships even reached the blockade line.  An OCDF AP-3C Orion that had been sent to shadow the Japanese fleet was intercepted and fired upon by a JMSDF Sea Harrier from the Hyūga (it was later revealed that the Hyūga was also supporting a small contingent of Sea Harriers operating from the whaling ships).  The Orion actually managed to recover to a friendly airfield though had been badly damaged with its port outer engine destroyed by cannon fire from the Japanese fighter.  Perhaps ominously, the Japanese subsequently marked the fighter with an Orion kill marking.  This incident sparked outrage, although the Japanese claimed it was an accident caused when the Orion crew ignored instructions not to approach the fleet.

A day later, a second incident occurred involving an aircraft from an outside party.  This was a USN RQ-4B Naval Hawk.  Apparently, in order to gain better imagery (clouds were a constant problem), this had descended from its standard 60000ft operating altitude.  In doing so it had come within range of a JMSDF Sea Harrier which quickly destroyed it with a single AAM-5 missile.  The OCDF also operated a small number of Naval Hawks and thus it was thought that the Japanese had mistaken this for one of them.

Following the Orion incident, the OCDF forces patrolling the blockade line were ordered onto high alert.  These forces included a combination of MS-3C and AP-3C patrol aircraft, JAS-39A, F/A-18A+ and F-16A (just prior to the creation of the Oceanic Confederation, the Papua New Guinea Defence Force had acquired 6 ex-USAF F-16As and 2 F-16Bs primarily to deter Indonesian incursions from West Papua) fighters stationed on various island airstrips.  Supporting these detachments at sea was a combination of frigates (the upgraded OCS (former HMAS) Darwin and OCS Newcastle FFGs; OCS Toowoomba. OCS Stuart and OCS (former HMNZS) Te Mana FFHs), air capable ships (OCS Kanimbla and OCS Oceanic, the later rapidly rushed to the area) as well as a number of smaller Armidale class patrol boats retrofitted to act as missile corvettes (this retrofit added a limited air defence capability using a 4 round RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) pod attached to the Typhoon 25 mm deck gun, as well as two dual round, Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile (NSM) pods) to carry.  In addition, two Collins class submarines, (OCS Farncomb and OCS Dechaineux – the later having been blooded in the earlier conflict) were also operating in support of the blockade.

To confuse things more, a number of civilian protest vessels also decided to join in the blockade to stop the whaling vessels.

By the early hours of Friday, the 17th December 2010, the first of the Japanese ships (a whaler escorted by the destroyer Atago) approached the blockade line.  The world waited anxiously to see what would happen…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2011, 05:39:40 AM »
Blockade Run

…at first nothing happened.  Unfortunately though, whilst the naval forces from both sides waited to see what the other would do, an inflatable boat from one of the protest vessels took the opportunity to harass the whaling vessel.  Whether by accident or intent, the crew of the whaling ship responded in the worst possible way, opening fire with their CIWS gun.  Mistaking the firing of this weapon as a defensive measure, the crew of the Atago instantly reacted as if they were under attack.  In doing so they instantly accelerated to maximum speed and opened fire on the closest naval vessel – the OCS Toowoomba – with two Type 90 anti-ship missiles.  Being so close, the crew of the Toowoomba had no chance to react. Their only saving grace was that only one of the missiles had a chance to detonate, though that one missile crippled the ship, having destroyed its main bridge and combat centre.

At the same time as the Atago launched its attack, both the Hiryu and Hyūga responded to this apparent attack by launching fighters armed with anti shipping missiles to attack any OCDF vessels in the area.  Their first target was the ailing OCS Toowoomba which was quickly sunk by a second missile fired by a JMSDF Sea Harrier.  Also attacked were the OCS Te Mana, OCS Darwin and two Armidale class patrol boats as well as two protest vessels (including the one from which the initial inflatable boat had come).   

In response to the initial attack on the Toowoomba, and the subsequent attacks, the OCDF forces defended themselves.  At first this involved defensive SAMs launched by the OCDF vessels under attack.  This action claimed a number of attacking Japanese fighters and missiles.  Shortly thereafter though, OCDF aircraft also entered the fray, both to attack the attacking fighters as well as their escorts.  It was in this battle that the first ever Papua New Guinean air-to-air kill was achieved as an OCDF F-16A flown by FLGOFF Paulias Ona downed an attacking JMSDF F-2C as it prepared to launch a missile at the OCS Darwin.

By the time dawn broke, the initial battle was over.  One the Oceanic Confederation side, the losses were heavy with not only the OCS Toowoomba sunk, but also the OCS Te Mana and two Armidale class patrol boats.  Additionally, the OCS Darwin had been damaged by a near miss from one of the Japanese missiles.  Also lost had been two Harrier AV-8B+s and a JAS-39A.

On the Japanese side, the losses had not been as high, with no ships attacked what-so-ever.  Eight aircraft (five F-2Cs, one Sea Harrier, one F-3 and a single F-15JN) had been lost though.

The opposing forces now rapidly worked to make the next move and thus gain the advantage…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2011, 05:40:16 AM »
Spreading

…unexpectedly, the next move would come far to the west.  Weeks before the main fleet had set sail, the Japanese had also sent two Oyashio class submarines down into the Indian Ocean.  These now struck.  Using an indigenous modification of their UGM-84 Harpoons, the Japanese had given these submarines a limited land attack capability which they now put to use.  Each submarine fired 6 missiles.  These were aimed at the main naval base on the Australian west coast (Fleet Base West), located on Garden Island just off the Western Australian coast near the city of Perth.  It was also the home port of many of the ships currently in action in the Pacific.  Within 20 minutes, the base was ablaze as the missiles struck home.

This action was primarily aimed at throwing the OCDF off balance and forcing them to split their forces.  To a degree it did accomplish this, however it also unleashed the fury of the Australian public which, having already awoken to the news of their ships being attacked and sunk in the Pacific, now demanded retribution.  They would not need to wait long as the Oceanic Confederation voted to allow for unrestricted combat operations against Japanese and allied forces…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2011, 05:41:27 AM »
Harassment

…back in the Pacific, having been advised of the Oceanic Confederation declaration, the Japanese now decided to split their fleet in two.  It was hoped that this would complicate matters for the OCDF and also provide more flexibility.  The Hyūga, Atago and submarine Asashio along with approximately half the whaling ships headed east in a flanking manoeuvre.  At the same time the Hiryu and remaining warships (including the Roald Amundsen) and whaling ships continued south, looking for a decisive confrontation with the OCDF.

The OCDF had been severely wounded but rather than retreat, the men and women were now more determined then ever to fight.  In record time aircraft and ships were ready for action.  However, for now it was decided to only conduct harassment operations against the Japanese fleet.  This was to provide time for a more comprehensive response to be prepared.  The first such harassment  action would come from below the waves.  The OCS Farncomb had quietly closed on the Hyūga fleet.  Having received its new orders it now decided to strike, sending four Mk48 ADCAP torpedoes on their way.  Three of these would find targets – two striking and in fact blowing apart a whaling ship and one narrowly missing the destroyer Atago, but going on to hit and sink another whaling ship.

Minutes later, this fleet would be attacked again, this time by two MS-3Cs escorted by two JAS-39As.  Before the Hyūga’s F-3s could reach them, each MS-3C had launched a AGM-84 towards the fleet.  Neither hit a target though being destroyed by the ships CIWSs.  The attack wasn’t a complete failure though as one of the JAS-39As managed to shoot down an F-3 before retreating.

Meanwhile to the west, the Hiryu fleet had also been on the receiving end of a number of similar pinprick attacks.  However with its E-2Cs providing early warning it was better able to defend itself.  For the loss of a single F-2C, the Japanese had managed to shoot down an OCDF AP-3C and 2 F/A-18A+s.  It looked as though this time, the Japanese would be the victors.  Now as dusk approached, they decided to prepare a new strike package to find and sink the main remaining OCDF ships and thus effectively end the war in one day.  Little did they know that the OCDF was already ahead of them…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2011, 05:42:09 AM »
Decisive Action

…all day, the OCDF forces had been organising their retaliation.  The harassment strikes, although costly, had served their purpose in keeping the Japanese busy and thinking that was all the OCDF could offer.  Now as dusk fell, the first element of the plan was initiated.  The OCS Dechaineux had been shadowing the Hiryu fleet since mid morning.  It now dropped further behind and prepared its launch tubes.  Very quickly, two of the torpedo tubes were readied and fired.  With this done, the Dechaineux now dived deep and awaited the result.

The missiles fired by the Dechaineux were of a type unseen by the rest of the world.  They were large and as they broke the surface, each quickly fired a rocket that took them high into the air.  As they ascended, they received encrypted data-bursts from an overhead satellite. At the peak of their trajectories (around 70000ft), each missile split apart and released 3 smaller projectiles (each was around 1 m in length).  Each of these small black, wedge shaped projectiles now fired a scramjet engine (these had been developed by DSTO scientists in conjunction with the University of Queensland and a number of Australian companies).  Each projectile, designated Taipans, now quickly identified its designated target and homed in on it.  As they descended, the Taipans quickly reached a speed in excess of Mach 8.  The entire action was over in a matter of minutes.  The Roald Amundsen and the two Atago class destroyers, Ashigara and Fusō were each hit by two Taipans.  Interestingly, the Taipans did not carry a warhead per sae, but rather relied on their kinetic energy to inflict damage - it would be sufficient.  All three ships were critically damaged, with the Ashigara (having been hit in the forward VLS which detonated) already sinking.  The Fusō and Roald Amundsen were also rapidly taking on water and out of action.  The only force defending the fleet now was the aircraft of the Hiryu, many of which were on deck being readied for the planned attack on the OCDF vessels.

Within seconds of the Taipans striking, the early warning E-2C spotted a large number of contacts approaching fast at wave top level from the West.  Half a minute later a second force was spotted this time from the South East.  The orbiting F-15JN and F-2C fighters were urgently dispatched towards the two approaching forces.  Meanwhile aboard the Hiryu crews worked frantically to rearm (or at least remove large anti-shipping weapons) and launch fighters.  The first to launch were three F-3s, followed by two F-2Cs which were to have been escorts for the strike aircraft.  It wouldn’t be anywhere near enough.

Spotting the approaching fighters, the F/A-18A+s escorting each strike package quickly fired their AIM-120 AMRAAMs.  These quickly struck their targets leaving pillars of smoke spiralling down.  At the same time, the F-111Cs and JAS-39As they were escorting launched their main weapons – AGM-84 Harpoons and RBS-15 (a number of these had been acquired originally with the Gripens) anti-shipping missiles.  Like a cloud of modern arrows (over 70 missiles had been fired in total), the missiles converged on the fleet.  Many were shot down by the CIWSs, however a number still broke though to strike ship after ship.  For the Hiryu though, the OCDF had something special in mind.  Given that it was so large and well defended, not to mention strong with its original VLCC double hull still there, it was believed that even multiple anti-shipping missile hits would be insufficient to sink it.  Therefore, to provide a large enough blow, the OCDF now revealed another of its ‘secret weapons’.  These were two F-111Gs specially modified to be uninhabited missiles.  These had been developed a few years earlier when the F-111G had been retired from RAAF service and were originally planned as a weapon to strike underground bunkers (technically they were now designated as QF-111Gs, though to the OCDF forces who prepared them, they were known as “Terminator Pigs”).  They had their cockpits removed and replaced by a large explosive charge and weapon bays also loaded with bombs.  Now as the conventional anti-shipping missiles started to strike targets, these Terminator Pigs closed to deliver the coup de grace.   As they approached the fleet, each accelerated to its maximum speed of around Mach 2.8 (the engines had been modified to provide 115% power and the airframes were clean – what’s more, they only had a one-way trip to complete).  Despite the attempts of the already hit Hiryu’s CIWSs, the Terminator Pigs struck.  Shortly thereafter, the large super carrier broke into three and settled below the waves.  It would not be alone, as every one of the whaling ships as well as the escorting destroyers and frigate also were either sunk or blown apart.  The night sky was lit by burning oil slicks.  Even below the surface, the Japanese had not escaped with the Dechaineux taking the opportunity presented by the confusion on the surface to close on the Harushio class submarine, Wakashio.  In the short underwater dogfight that ensued, the Dechaineux once again was victorious.

Far to the East, the ships of the Hyūga’s fleet received information of the fate of their sister ships with shock.  Only hours earlier, everything had been going so well…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2011, 05:42:55 AM »
The Battle Spreads

…almost immediately, the whaling ships were ordered to scatter and head either back to Japan or to neutral ports.  No longer ‘shackled’ to the whaling ships, the crews of the Hyūga and Atago were now free to operate as they wished.  For now though, they continued to head South East deeper into the Pacific.  The crews knew that if they could hold out a little longer, they would be joined by more forces already being readied in Japan.  These forces would include not only more destroyers and submarines but also the Hyūga’s sister ship, the Ise, as well as the already mentioned Soryu super carrier.  Until, these forces arrived though, the Hyūga and Atago would essentially be on their own, hence their direction of travel.  However, the Japanese were still able to cause trouble for the OCDF.

To the North West, the Japanese now called upon one of their allies from the earlier war.  Although Indonesia (as a Dutch colony) had been occupied by the Japanese in the past, over the recent decades, the western countries to the South had been seen as the more likely enemy.  After the East Timorese gained independence in the late ‘90s, Indonesian pride had been bruised.  It was this (and the large cash payments offered) that caused the Indonesians to allow the Japanese to base their combat aircraft on Indonesian soil a few years earlier.  Now, with the Oceanic Confederation distracted by events in the Pacific and with the naval base near Perth severely damaged, the Indonesians (with the strong backing of the Japanese, including many exchange officers) decided to strike back.

The attack would be threefold.  Firstly, TNI-AU Su-30s and Su-27s would strike at the port of Darwin using Yakhont supersonic missiles supplied earlier by the Russians.  Next, TNI-AU F-2As (two squadrons worth had been supplied by the Japanese) would strike at Port Moresby (the OCDF used the nearby Jacksons International Airport as an operating base).  Finally, thousands of Indonesian troops (not to mention a few Japanese ones as well) supported by helicopter gunships and TNI-AU BAe Hawks surged across the border with East Timor.  Despite the valiant attempts of the OCDF forces stationed there, East Timor was very quickly once again under Indonesian occupation.

To the south, Darwin was hit hard, with 14 Yakhonts striking the ships in harbour and the surrounding docks.  However, only three naval vessels were hit – a hydro-graphic ship, a patrol boat and a mine hunter.  Four civilian vessels including a high speed ferry full of tourists were hit though. Never-the-less, the Indonesians essentially achieved their mission, with the Darwin port facilities being declared non-usable and thus unable to support any OCDF operations in the near term.

To the east, Jacksons International Airport was hit hard too.  Fortunately for the OCDF though, the only military aircraft there were two PC-9 FAC aircraft, a C-130J and a single F-16B undergoing maintenance.  Never-the-less all were destroyed, along with two airliners and a number of hangars.  Not everything went the Indonesia way though, as on the return flight, the F-2As were intercepted by two F-16As which managed to bring down two F-2As before having to turn back.

Much to everyone’s disbelief, the war had now widened…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2011, 05:43:50 AM »
Planning

…having been struck again, and with part of its territory now occupied, the Oceanic Confederation recoiled back somewhat.  This war was getting larger, and the OCDF resources, though capable and proven were only so big.

However, the anger of the public wasn’t easing.  If anything it was stronger than ever.  To complicate matters, the UN was of no use.  With Japan (and India) both having been admitted permanent seats on the Security Council a few years earlier (ironically supported by Australia), no resolution stopping the war was allowed to pass.  Furthermore, the Oceanic Union (primarily Australia in this case) was unable to rely on its main allies (the USA and UK) as these were increasingly tied down in the quagmire in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They would endeavour to supply what help they could though.  The upshot of all this was that the OCDF would need to resolve this war by itself.

There were now a range of issues to deal with:

•   Find and neutralise the threat posed by the remaining Japanese warships;
•   Prevent any further Japanese incursions;
•   Retake East Timor;
•   Neutralise (and arguably punish) Indonesia; and
•   Prevent any more attacks on the Oceanic Confederation.

For now, the first two involved finding the Japanese forces.  The Hyūga and Atago had done well to lose themselves.  OCDF forces continued to search, but for now were not finding anything.  It was even rumoured that they may have sought sanctuary in South American ports, possibly in Ecuador.  As to the Soryu super carrier and any additional Japanese forces, these had not yet shown up, though OCDF was expecting them.

That left Indonesia and East Timor to deal with.  Given the nature of Indonesia geography, any invasion would not be easy.  There were so many small islands where forces could hide.  It was quickly decided that any land force involvement would need to be centred only on the island of Timor.  To prevent any other Indonesian involvement, it’s Navy and Air Forces would need to be neutralised…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2011, 05:44:40 AM »
Operation Tempestade

…and so, Operation Tempestade was launched.  This was based upon detailed plans made over the years by Australia and would involve the simultaneous invasion and liberation of Timor and the neutralisation of the Indonesian military, the Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI).  Because of the already extensive losses incurred by the OCDF, this operation would need to be carried out swiftly – a long, drawn out battle simply couldn’t be sustained.  The OCDF would have an ally though.  Thanks to a secret alliance made years earlier (actually with Australia, though it had been transferred to the Oceanic Confederation), Singapore now also entered the fight.

The first element of Op Tempestade involved the neutralisation of the Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia Angkatan Udara or TNI-AU) and air elements of the Army ((Tentara Nasional Indonesia  Angkatan Darat or TNI-AD).  To do this, the OCDF redeployed some of the forces currently operating to the East in the Pacific.  A force of F-111s (including a small number of QF-111Gs), F/A-18A+s, and JAS-39A/Bs as well as former RAAF (now OCDF) BAe Hawks were quickly assembled.  To this, were added a number of MQ-9 Reaper UAVs (the OCDF already operated its sibling, the Mariner) that had been rapidly transferred to the OCDF from the USAF along with a large quantity of munitions (the last few days had already used up a large portion of the OCDF’s stocks).  In  addition, the Singaporean Air Force added its F-16s and F-15SGs.

The more capable and powerful aircraft (F-111s, F-15SGs, F-16s, F/A-18A+s) targeted the main Indonesian airbases at Iswahyudi, Abdulrachman Saleh, Hasanuddin, Halim Perdanakususma, Pekanbaru and Adisucipto.  For the most part, these used AGM-158 JASSMs and AGM-142 Raptors to strike from afar.

Although these opening attacks were devastating, many aircraft never-the-less survived.  Immediately afterwards, the surviving Indonesian forces launched as many combat aircraft as possible – it was just as though someone had disturbed a wasp nest.  However, these now flew into an ambush.  Expecting (indeed counting upon) just such a reaction from the Indonesians, the OCDF had sent two C-130J-30 Hercules transports to accompany each of the two Wedgetails operating in support.  However, these were no ordinary Hercules.  Each had been specially modified to deploy Meteor ELRAAMs from its rear.  The Meteors had been offered a few years earlier when the second batch of Gripens had been purchased - now they found their first use.  As soon as each missile was deployed, it quickly fired a booster motor (specially fitted to build up the speed before the ramjet took over) and was guided using inputs from the Wedgetails’ radar.  The effect would be devastating, with in excess of 80 missiles in the air at one time - virtually all the Indonesian fighters were shot down before they even had a chance to realise what was going on.  Upon their return, the crews of the Hercules quickly re-designated their aircraft as FC-103Js and painted kill markings on the sides.

As soon as the Meteors had done their work, the OCDF followed up by sending a large number of MQ-9 UAVs over to patrol Indonesian airspace around the island of Timor.  Each of these was armed with a pair of AGM-119 Penguin ASMs and four AIM-132 ASRAAMs to help prevent any further Indonesian aerial or seaborne incursions to the main landings in Timor...
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2011, 05:45:31 AM »
Battle of Dili

…whilst the aerial decimation of the TNI-AU took place (and it continued as OCDF and Singaporean aircraft continued to launch sorties against the TNI-AU airbases), the OCDF also initiated the invasion/liberation of Timor.  Because of the nature of the Indonesian invasion and the previous problems encountered years earlier, it had been decided to occupy the whole of the island rather than simply liberate East Timor.  The first phase though would be the capture of the main airport at Dili.

However, because the airport was strongly defended, the OCDF knew they would need some serious firepower.  Therefore, on the evening of the 25th December, the East Timorese people received a Christmas present as 4 OCDF C-17s and 12 C-130Js came in low and fast.  Using a special version of the LAPES (Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System), each C-17 dropped a single M1A1 tank whilst each C-103J dropped a single ASLAV.  Meanwhile a large number of helicopters (mainly MRH-90 Wombats and UH-60 Black Hawks) from the OCS Kokoda (rapidly brought into service using a combination of OCDF and contractor crews), OCS Manoora and OCS Canterbury also descended on the airport.  Supporting the transport helicopters (which now flew sortie after sortie between the ships and Dili) were a number of the OCDF’s Tiger ARH attack helicopters and a small number of the new AH-90 Devil (as in Tasmanian Devil) assault helicopter (this later beast was essentially a MRH-90 with the cockpit replaced by the tandem seat arrangement and nose cannon of the Tiger ARH – it was also referred to as the ‘Euro-Hind’).

As darkness descended, the battle around Dili Airport increased in intensity…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2011, 05:46:34 AM »
The Fighting Continues

…Over the next 4 days, the battle for Dili Airport ranged.  The OCDF received a major shock when it was discovered that the Japanese/Indonesians had both armour and helicopter support in place.  This, in the form of Type 90 and T-72M1 (the Indonesians had quietly purchased a number of these from the Russians) tanks as well as APCs of various forms plus Kawasaki OH-1, Fuji Heavy Industries AH-1S Cobras and AH-64Ds combat helicopters, was a painful experience.  A number of ASLAVs and two M1A1s were destroyed in the battle for Dili before the offending tanks were destroyed.

With the airport in OCDF hands, more reinforcements were rapidly flown in.  Though this was in no way an easy activity as the surrounding area was still occupied.  The effect of this was shown dramatically when a C-17 was hit by a SAM upon approach.  Although able to crash onto the airfield, it was unable to leave and in fact was shortly destroyed by mortar fire.

In an effort to unbalance the enemy and to help relieve pressure on Dili, during the night of New Year’s eve, the OCDF quickly launched a new operation far to the west near Kupang.  This involved a para-drop by forces from mainly New Zealand and Australia supported by a number of Tiger and Devil helicopters.  The OCDF Navy also got involved with a contingent of landing craft escorted by surviving patrol boats delivering some armoured vehicles.  Whilst in no way able to take the capital of East Nusa Tenggara (West Timor), this force did cause the Indonesians/Japanese to waver.

Meanwhile in the air over (and more often than not, amongst the treetops) Timor, helicopters from both sides fought a vicious air-to air battle …
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2011, 05:47:06 AM »
Southern Strike

…With the OCDF focus on Timor, the Hyūga was now able to strike again.  Having gone far south in an effort to avoid OCDF searches, its crew now decided to make a reappearance.  Half of its remaining F-3s now launched an attack against Otago Harbour, Dunedin.  Their targets were the two OCDF ships, OCS Te Mana and OCS Darwin which were in harbour repairing damage from the earlier battles.  Not being ready for the attack, both ships suffered significant damage with the Te Mana sinking at the dockside.  The docks also received considerable damage.

An hour later, the OCDF base at Ohakea was also struck – this time by missiles fired from the submarine Asashio.  A P-3 and C-130 along were the only aircraft destroyed although the runway was also put out of action.

Although both of these attacks were relatively small (though the loss of the Te Mana was no small issue), their greatest effect was to cause the OCDF and more so the public to suddenly remember the threat still posed by the Japanese ships.  This resulted in forces that might otherwise be sent to Timor to be kept back.

The opposing forces and indeed the world wondered what would happen next…
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2011, 05:47:54 AM »
Peace?

...After weeks of battle, both sides were weary.  The casualties were growing and there seemed to be no end in sight.  Then suddenly on the 14th January, there was a new development.  The world's two superpowers, China and the USA issued a joint statement declaring that the war between their allies/trading partners had gone on long enough.  An enforced ceasefire would now be put in place and any side proven to be breaking it would need to deal with them. To back up this threat, a combined fleet of USN and PLAN ships (including 2 US carriers and a single PLAN carrier) were heading to the war zone to patrol.  Additionally, the first of 50,000 Chinese troops began parachuting into Indonesia to restore order.

Both the Japanese and Oceanic Confederation forces complied with this ultimatum.  They were exhausted and needed the time to "lick their wounds".  Essentially, what had become known as the "Whaling War" was now over.

Meanwhile, in the USA, a small group of former Cetacean Defence Force members discussed the recent decision by the Canadian Olympic Committee to reverse its earlier decision regarding the making of athletes' uniforms out of seal pelts and for the government to promote sealing at the Games in Vancouver...
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2011, 05:52:06 AM »
Some profiles Richard did in support of this:





Regards,

Greg
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Re: The Whaling War - a possible future history (Consolidated)
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2011, 05:52:55 AM »
The Oceanic class High Speed Aircraft Carriers look something like these:

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